The Exchange Experience

Getting the opportunity to become an exchange student and, leaving the U.S to another country are all the new things students get to experience and become accustomed to would be thrilling and quite interesting for anyone. For Rita Garcia-De-Borito the process was hard, especially having to study a new language since she didn’t already know English, adapting to a new environment, and coping with new people. As she has settled in, Rita claims it has gotten so much easier than it was from the start.

“I came from Portugal, and everything is very different. Most things were as I expected and others were not but for the most part I really like it here”. junior, exchange student, Garcia-De-Brito said.

Schools usually offer clubs or programs for those exchange students, to unite with those coming from other various countries.

Rita Garcia-De-Brito by Alexa Hausauer

“In the beginning everything was very difficult, because there’s a lot of people and it’s such a big school but we have a group or some say club of exchange students so I got to meet them and found out that they were in the same position as me. They also got lost a few times finding there way around and had some trouble, but we got used to it more easily. The club helped me make more friends than I expected.” Garcia-De-Brito said.

When coming to the US to study, once they complete their education as an exchange student, their not quite finished yet. As they return back, their education from home needs to be picked up from where they left off.

“In Portugal you attend high school for three years, I left my second year. I entered MacArthur as a junior, so when I leave from here as a senior I still need to finish my last year in Portugal. Also, the schools here are much bigger than over there. In Portugal we never switch classes, or teachers we stay in one room throughout the whole day.” Garcia De-Brito said.

Meeting new people can be a challenge for them. They are introduced to many new things, it can be strange and interesting.

“My first thought coming to study here was fitting in and how hard it would be to learn a new language. Everything was just so different, there was lots of country things like pigs, lots of pigs. Making friends was cool, it was easier to make regular friends than really close ones. I noticed not a lot of people are close, they are very distant when you try approaching them.” Garcia De-Brito said.

The difficulties build up through the beginning, but calmly start to ease down.

“I pictured coming here, to be like HighSchool Musical.” Gracia-De-Brito, said.

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